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Wedding Ideas #13 {First Look VS Traditional}

In thinking about your wedding plans and your wedding photography you may want first to consider if you want to do a first look or keep things traditional. The reason I suggest thinking about this first is because it could alter your time line a lot, and when you’d want a photographer there.
Some of you may haven’t heard of this term “first look” but it basically means that you and your fiance get time before the wedding to see each other. I encourage this time to be alone, with no one watching, except your photographer in the background capturing this sweet moment.

I realize this is such a personal decision but I want to enlighten you all on some ideas for a first look vs the tradition as well as a few ideas that are in between.

  • The First Look: honestly allows you to have an intimate moment together that you may very well not get the rest of your wedding day. Between getting ready, taking photos, walking down the aisle, the ceremony, more photos, and the reception, you may not get a single word together, just the two of you, until you are gone. If you’re like me and are distracted easily having a moment like this together before could be priceless. Doing a first look could also put both of your nerves to rest pre-wedding. I know many brides and grooms say that it will take away from the “wow” look they get when walking down the aisle. But it may not. I cannot speak for all guys, but generally it isn’t the first time he sees you that will bring him to tears, but the fact that you are walking towards him to commit your life together with him. It is the moment, not the dress you’re in. 😉 But again, this is totally dependent upon your man’s thoughts. Let me show you.

Kate and Evan decided to do a first look. It was so beautiful. I also had my second shooter helping me get both of their faces…yet another reason why to have one. 😉

Denver Vintage Wedding Photographer on First Looks vs Traditional walking down the aisle Photo

Denver Vintage Wedding Photographer on First Looks vs Traditional walking down the aisle Photo


Denver Vintage Wedding Photographer on First Looks vs Traditional walking down the aisle Photo
Photo by Ben, my second shooter for the day.

And then just less than an hour later here was Evan’s face when Kate was walking towards him during the ceremony.

Denver Vintage Wedding Photographer on First Looks vs Traditional walking down the aisle Photo

Now you cannot tell me that he honestly isn’t just as emotionally involved because he saw her before. 😉 Look at those eyes! About ready to explode with tears! haha

Not only will you get an intimate time together, doing a first look allows you to take all of your photos pre-wedding. This will allow you to go straight from your ceremony to the reception. Sounds great, right!? It is. 😉  (But don’t forget to get your rings on for these photos, it’ll look funny without them.)

We did just this at this Pagosa Springs, Colorado wedding.

Denver Vintage Wedding Photographer on First Looks vs Traditional walking down the aisle Photo

  • Traditional: you know, some people seriously know they will cry when they first see each other so maybe doing a first look would be a terrible idea because you’d need to touch up your make-up a handful of times. But other than the obvious reasons traditional can be good for you.
  • In Between Traditional: So, you don’t want to see each other, but you like the idea of some pictures before. Well you could both be blind folded or one of you blind folded. It is super sweet, but will need to coordinate people to help you walk because you won’t be able to see, and the last thing you want to do is trip before the wedding. 😉

Both of these couples decided to do just that. And its pretty dang cute!

Denver Vintage Wedding Photographer blind fold first look Photo

Denver Vintage Wedding Photographer blind fold first look Photo

  • If you are totally dead set against not even chancing seeing each other before, another option is to write notes to each other. You’d then read these letters pre-ceremony, allowing for an intimate time together without being together. But make sure you tell your photographer when you are doing this, so they can hide away and get this sweet moment! 

Denver Vintage Wedding Photographer pre wedding notes Photo


As a wedding photographer I am extremely biased towards the First Look because it just makes things go so much more smoothly, but I always want you to do what is best for both of you.


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Hey, we’re Lumalia (Emmy) and Sam, the leading voices behind Celebrate Again (Lumalia) and our sister elopement company The Dropped Pin (Sam and her husband Kyle). Here you’ll find ways to live the Celebrate Again lifestyle.

We want to help you embody life’s joy by learning to Celebrate Again in everything from practicing intentional breathing to taking on major life events. I believe your life should be full and be what you make it.

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